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BP CEO to be Questioned Before the Court

A Texas judge is to decide on Monday whether to compel Lord Browne

A Texas judge is to decide on Monday whether to compel Lord Browne, BP?s chief executive, to be formally questioned before a court to decide claims against the UK oil giant arising from last year?s fatal refinery explosion. BP has refused a request by the plaintiff?s attorney, Brent Coon, to question Lord Browne, forcing the decision into the court?s hands.

?We are opposing the request because Lord Browne has no unique knowledge of the incident that is not available from other people within BP,?? a spokesman for BP said. ?The head of BP?s worldwide refining operations has participated in the discovery process,? referring to the questioning of potential witnesses ahead of a US trial.

That ?discovery process?? led Michael Hoffman, BP?s group vice-president for global refining, to reveal the company is conducting an internal investigation, reaching up into its executive level, to determine whether to take further disciplinary action for the accident, which killed 15 and injured an estimated 500 at BP?s biggest refinery.